Most of us at one time or another have thought about adding meditation to our daily routine. While we have good intentions, it’s sometimes difficult to find the time to sit still or clear our mind and keep it from racing. Though meditation benefits people of all ages; we compiled a list of benefits for seniors.
Benefits of Meditation for Seniors
- Improves Focus – In today’s busy world it’s easy to lose focus and have our minds pulled in fifteen different directions at once. Meditation improves our ability to focus.
- Helps to Ease Pain – Meditation shift’s our focus to something quiet and calm, which in effect has been known to reduce inflammation and pain.
- Lowers Stress – There is a lot of evidence that excess stress can cause lots of illnesses including high blood pressure and even certain types of cancer. When we quiet the mind through meditation, our bodies are not releasing harmful stress hormones into the bloodstream.
- May Help Reverse Early Memory Loss and Alzheimer’s – In a recent study of adults with early memory loss, scientists found that the practice of a simple meditation or music listening program may have multiple benefits for older adults with preclinical memory loss.
In a recent study, 53 participants were randomly assigned to either practice a form of meditation called Kirtan Kriya or listen to classical music daily for three months. They then had the option to continue their assigned practice for another three months – 74% of the participants did! The researchers found that both groups showed significant improvements in memory and cognitive performance after three months, based on their scores on a Memory Function Questionnaire, with gains being particularly pronounced in the meditation group.
Mild cognitive impairment can affect up to 20% of the population at any one time, and half of them will progress to full-on dementia. A recent study in Neuroscience Letters found that as little as 15 minutes of daily meditation can significantly slow the progression of dementia. Further research is needed to determine the exact amount of meditation it takes to slow the progression of dementia, but mindfulness meditation is already known to help people navigate the daily stresses of life, which can’t help but show benefits in the long run.
Allcare Home Health offers compassionate in-home dementia and Alzheimer’s care. Our caregivers can be there to remind your loved one that it’s time to start their ‘relaxing exercise’, whether it’s with their favorite classical music or quiet meditation. Call us today at (919) 301-0236 to schedule an assessment with one of our experienced RNs. tel:919-301-0236
Ref: Mindful, Alzheimers.net, ScienceDaily.com, Kim Innes, Assoc. Prof. of Epidemiology, WV School of Public Health and Prevention Magazine.